John McCullagh May 2, 2005
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I enjoyed growing up in the 50’s. The music was terrific: we had live bands at our dances and traditional Irish Ceidhle Bands at the ceidhles. I must have picked up some Irish along the way as I went on scholarship to the Gaeltacht College in Rannafast in County Donegal. This happened each of the five years I spent at Our Ladies Grammar School. 

 



There I met students from all over Ireland, had holiday romances, picnics on long golden beaches, ate French toast for the first time, had a ball at the nightly ceildhes and last and surely least, experienced my first ‘dry toilet’.

 At the ceidhles the M.C. was a man called Ducky Mallon. Small in stature but big in voice he taught us the set dances, demonstrating and calling out (in Irish) the steps. 

So my schooldays and my childhood slipped away. Many of my classmates I never saw again. Some have passed on, some gone away and some married and still living about Newry. I see a few of them on occasion when I visit Newry from my home now in Bangor. We are all grandmothers now and watching another generation growing up.

Sadly my parents split up when I was eighteen years old. My father had a problem with gambling and on many occasions lost most of his wages on horses. In addition he was fiercely jealous and imagined my mother to have hordes of admirers. When he died in 1970 of a brain tumour and pneumonia, it was obvious that he had been suffering from these things for some time. He was only sixty-two years of age.

I loved my school days and have many happy memories of them.

.. Home Alone Kid …

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